RSS

Daily Archives: October 20, 2009

Afghanistan – on the dollar trail

Last night Four Corners showed this French documentary which had featured earlier at the Venice Film Festival 2009.

r453793_2214184

While most live as above just nearby an amazing array of MacMansions – except they are far bigger – are sprouting in one section of Kabul. Guess who owns them. Meanwhile a newly built hospital wing is literally falling apart because of profiteering and shoddy materials.

… Eight years after the fall of Kabul, reporter Paul Moreira went in search of the promised schools. Despite repeated requests to authorities, he had trouble finding a new school that had been completed. Still on the trail of the aid dollar he found a hospital that was supposed to be refurbished. Instead it was literally falling apart. The aid money intended to pay for the hospital’s renovations had been wasted and the work was shoddy.

In other parts of the capital Afghans go hungry, their children sit in open air classrooms while Moreira finds evidence that aid dollars are being spent on banquets feeding an array of businessmen and government officials.

However, there is one construction sector that is in full swing: that of luxury villas. In one district of Kabul, poor residents are being evicted from their homes. The buildings are then destroyed and the land sold cheaply so that massive villas and homes can be built for the wealthy. Why are these people being sold the land so cheaply?

Where is the money coming from that is used to build their palaces? The answers will shock you.

As NATO and its allies struggle to keep the Taliban at bay, the corruption and mismanagement of the reconstruction program is forcing many Afghans to think again about who is their real enemy. Is it the Taliban or is it the Karzai government and its supporters?

The level of corruption, the total absence of any sense of public service, is the major argument used by the Taliban in their propaganda. This first hand account of life in Afghanistan today explains why the insurgents are making so much headway – not just in taking back territory but in winning the hearts and minds of the people…

There were some courageous individuals trying to be open and honest, but the odds are against them. So sad – and bad.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 20, 2009 in current affairs